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Your best tips from experience/research of TTC while bfeeding - 3 questions

(3 Posts)
australopithecus Mon 05-Jan-15 07:51:57

Morning all you merry new year's wanderers! I need some short-hand tips regarding TTC no2. please! smile
DC is 9 months old, a slow starter on solids and bottle, so up to now has been mostly bf. It's getting better however and I've managed to sneak in a few more bottles and solids during the day but still find it hard to cut the short bouts of comfort bfeeds during the day. At night DC will take a bottle to replace one feed (still on two feeds during the night - grrrr!) but won't fall asleep again until on the breast for a couple of minutes. Only been a month and a bit on this pattern, but no AF yet. sad
Q1. I sort of understand there to be two camps in explaining the most likely way to kickstart your fertility again: one is to cut the overall total minutes of feeding during the day, and one is to cut feeds to that 4/6 hour period. In the first scenario my comfort feeding is okay at any time because they are very short bursts only, but if the second holds more validity then I shouldn't comfort feed at all and keep to the 4hr day/6hr night spaces between feeds. In your experience or research, which do you think is best?
Q2. Also, from what you've seen or read, should I be preparing myself for a lo-o-ong wait as the norm, or do most women return to their cycles soon?
Q3. And finally, does age make a specific difference in this regard? (I'm late 30s but we had no problems conceiving first DC at all).
We're a bit overly keen on TTC soon again as I don't want too long a career break. Thanks for any thoughts!!!

frazzledtofun Mon 05-Jan-15 10:01:36

Hello.

I am by no means an expert but will do my best:
Q1. I don't think there is any hard and fast rule but generally speaking you just need to allow your oestrogen levels to reach the all-important threshold when ovulation can occur. Every time you breastfeed prolactin is produced which suppresses oestrogen. The longer and more frequently you feed, the more prolactin in your system. More prolactin is also produced overnight hence why night feeds can be the key for some people and why having that long gap of 4-6 hours, particularly overnight - can kick start things. That said, it really does vary. I know people who got AF when their babies were feeding relatively frequently and still quite young. I, on the other hand, have a 2 year old DD, have spent a night away from her, have night weaned 3 times, have worked 10 hour days and STILL no AF. We have cut down to just 1 feed a day in the hope that this will get things moving so watch this space. Try reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Welchler it is really informative on this. If I were you, I would try to ensure you have a good long gap with no feeds, preferably at night, and then perhaps try to reduce / drop a feed or two as well. Having said that, 9 months is still very little and it could be that if you just give it another 3 months or even wait until he is 18 months it will all resolve itself on its own.

Q2. The majority of women who breastfeed on demand with no formula supplements (tho of course eating solid food) have AF back by 14 months. A diminishingly small number have to wait longer with some women needing to wait to wean completely - no matter how long this may be (even 3 or 4 years in some cases). It's something like 95% have it back by 2 years. I am one of those lucky few who are still waiting...

Q3. Don't think age has an impact on the breastfeeding / fertility return unless someone was peri-menopausal which you certainly shouldn't be.

Hope that helps! Do take a look at the links I flagged up in the other thread and get the Taking Charge book if you are interested.

australopithecus Mon 05-Jan-15 12:23:43

Thanks for this frazzled! Your insights are really very helpful. I'm sorry it has taken so long for you to get back to base. Sounds very frustrating if you had "plans" for little ones close in age. I was considering a forced overnight away too with DP doing formula feeds for one night as a way of kick starting things grin but I sort of suspected it would need more than one dramatic event!

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